Grappling with multiple issues ‘paled’ govt’s performance  

My concern is people should feel and see the change. It is, however, too early to be critical since the government has four more years to prove itself.

Ishwar Dev Khanal

February 22, 2019


Grappling with multiple issues ‘paled’ govt’s performance  
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The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) dissolved the task force formed to finalize the party’s unification process. There are voices of disgruntlement with the government’s performance within the party itself. Jibaram Bhandari and Ishwar Khanal of Khabarhub caught up with Narayan Kaji Shrestha, spokesperson of the ruling NCP at the office of Khabarhub at Durbar Marg to get an overall view of the party and the government. Excerpts:

The task force formed to finalize the party’s unification process has been dissolved. There are disgruntled voices within the party. What’s the real scenario?

It is evident that the task force entrusted to finalize the structural unification of the party took a long time. Moreover, the party itself is entangled with several problems. However, the need of the hour is to finalize the task at any cost. There will be no looking behind. The party secretariat will now work on it taking it to a logical end.

Is it a failure on the part of the leadership?

In fact, the task force was entrusted with the task of finalizing the structural unification within three months. However, it failed to do so in nine months. This has given a negative message to the general people. There are lapses for sure.

You said there are problems within the party. What is the way out?

The issue was raised seriously in Friday’s meeting of the party secretariat. As a way out, the chairmen duo now need to prepare a report on the organizational structure and present it to the secretariat within a week. This is what has been discussed.

The government has completed its first year in office. What is your analysis?

People had high expectations from the government. Undeniably, it failed to meet the people’s expectations in the last one year regardless of its efforts. It is high time the government reviewed its functioning and move ahead accordingly. Firstly, the government should prioritize anti-corruption campaign and good governance without which the dream of prosperity cannot be achieved. Moreover, it should also emphasize on development activities to give a direct feel of prosperity to the people. My concern is people should feel and see the change. It is, however, too early to be critical since the government has four more years to prove itself.

Is the party thinking about cabinet reshuffle?

I am not quite sure about it since the issue has not been discussed in the party as of now. Frankly speaking, I am not informed if the prime minister has discussed the issue with other leaders.

The government has been engaged in futile and trivial issues such as the Venezuela issue rather than prioritizing on major programs? What is your observation?

Let me be very clear that foreign intervention will not be acceptable at any cost. This will only lead to complications and unfortunate circumstances. I believe that unnecessary foreign meddling will directly affect the Nepali people. In fact, what we believe is that no country should intervene in a sovereign country’s internal affairs. We want to have a smooth relation with all our friendly countries, including the United States. Let’s not blow up the issue. The government is serious in maintaining law and order.

The government and the parliament have failed to perform effectively to address people’s aspirations. Why?

The government got occupied in formulating the laws and implementing the federal set up, which is something totally new to the country. It also focused on introducing the social security fund, among other ambitious programs. These are some positive aspects. However, the government has failed to control corruption in the country. Moreover, we need to change our mindset of running the country by remittance and customs revenue.

There have been several instances that the government has receded from its agreements made with different sectors. Why?

The government should not shy away from the agreements made with political parties and other sectors. Such an intention will defame politics. Implementation of agreements is vital.

Citizen Bill has been tabled at the parliament amid disgruntled voices that the Bill would be a threat to Nepal’s sovereignty. What will be the repercussion if the parliament endorsed the Bill?

In fact, the issue has been discussed seriously in the party secretariat. The party will soon hold dialogue with all political forces, members of the civil society and other stakeholders and will come up with a solution through consensus. We are serious about it.

The government today presented a bill on Information Technology. Is it going to impose restriction on social media?

Social media should not be controlled. It has to be monitored. It would be a grave mistake if the government tried to control social media. The government might have taken the step to simply monitor social media.

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